• US stocks end a down week on an up note

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    U.S. stocks ended a down week on a high note Friday, snapping a five-day losing streak on the strength of energy and financial companies. A sharp rebound in oil prices and an encouraging report on retail sales helped lift the stock market to its first gain since late last week. Despite the rally, the major U.S. stocks indexes ended the week down about 1 percent and they remain down more than 8 percent for the year. "It's a relief to see after several very ugly days in a row, but I wouldn't hang my hat on it and say the worst is over," said Rob Eschweiler, global investment specialist at J.P. Morgan. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 313.66 points, or 2 percent, to 15,973.84. The Standard & Poor's 500 gained 35

  • After Oregon standoff, some say: Right fight; wrong tactics

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Right fight; wrong strategy. That's what many ranchers and sympathizers opposing federal control of public lands in the West concluded after the armed occupation of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon. For some, the weekslong standoff that ended Thursday with the surrender of the final occupiers has only strengthened their resolve to fight the government's control of vast expanses of Western land. But not all condone the tactics of the armed group that drew the nation's gaze to the snowy landscapes of eastern Oregon. "We're not backing off," said Greg Whalen, a military veteran from Las Vegas who supports the Bundy ranching family that led the occupation. "We're actually going to fight harder — pea

  • Colorado's newest pot shop tied to strip club and mayor

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    GLENDALE, Colo. (AP) — Colorado's newest pot shop has some wondering whether strippers and weed are too closely aligned on a busy highway just east of downtown Denver. The Smokin Gun Apothecary opened on a site formerly occupied by the Denver area's best known strip club, Shotgun Willie's. The strip club hasn't gone away — it's moved just across the parking lot, testing ethical and potentially legal issues about the state's growing legal recreational pot industry. Beyond banning the sale of pot and alcohol in the same shop, Colorado has no regulation regarding marijuana and other adult businesses. Zoning rules require shops to be away from schools or anywhere children congregate. Colorado's rules about using pot are

  • Deutsche Bank and Wynn Resorts rise, Pandora tumbles

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Friday on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq stock market: NYSE Deutsche Bank AG, up $1.87 to $17.38 The bank offered to buy back more than $5 billion in bonds in a display of financial strength. Pandora Media Inc., down $1.09 to $8 The Internet radio company's fourth-quarter profit fell short of estimates and it declined to comment on rumors it's looking to sell itself. Square Inc., up 68 cents to $9.30 Visa disclosed a stake in the mobile payment services company and investors interpreted it as a major endorsement of Square. Nasdaq Groupon Inc., up 65 cents to $2.

  • Lawmakers vote to make W. Virginia right-to-work state

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia, a suffering coal mining state shaped by the sometimes-bloody history of its organized labor, is set to become the 26th state with a so-called right-to-work law. In House and Senate party-line votes Friday, lawmakers rebuked a veto Thursday by Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. The move will solidify a law that proponents say will draw in business and give workers more freedom over their ties to unions, but which opponents say is solely meant to undercut unions. The law becomes effective July 1. Along similar partisan lines Friday, the Legislature dealt another blow to unions by overriding a second Tomblin veto, of a law that will eliminate the state's prevailing wage on public construc

  • Visa discloses stake in Dorsey's company, Square

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Shares in the mobile payment services company Square rose sharply Friday after Visa disclosed the details of its ownership stake in the company. While Visa's stake amounts to about 1 percent of the company, and the stake was established at least 5 years ago, investors interpreted the announcement as a major endorsement of Square by Visa, the world's largest payment processing company. According to a regulatory filing, Visa owns 4.2 million of Square's Class B shares. While Class B shares are not traded publicly, Visa could convert up to 3.5 million of its Class B shares to Class A, which would give Visa a 9.99 percent ownership of that class of shares. That conversion would amount to just 1 percent of Square

  • Landowners win case against Bluegrass Pipeline

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Landowners who had opposed efforts to put a natural gas pipeline across 13 counties have been victorious in the Kentucky Supreme Court. The court decided Thursday not to review a May 2015 ruling from the Kentucky Court of Appeals that said Bluegrass Pipeline LLC did not have the power of eminent domain because it was not a utility regulated by the state, according to multiple media reports. Because the Supreme Court didn't review the appeal, the appellate court's decision stands, said Kentuckians United to Restrain Eminent Domain attorney Tom FitzGerald. "Today is a good day for Kentucky landowners and for freedom," FitzGerald posted on his Facebook page.

  • BRIEF: Wichita State 'coding academy' begins next session Feb. 20

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    Learning to write computer software coding is so crucial to the future that entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs said it ought to be taught as much as math. Wichita State University on Thursday announced how they are stepping up how to help do that. They are already teaching it, and not only to WSU students. The coding academy started this year by WSU’s Ennovar Institute will teach people the basics. Workshops, some of them already started this week, will use industry professionals and mentors, WSU said in a statement. Sessions are open to the community. The next session runs from 1-5 p.m. Saturdays from Feb. 20 to April 16 in Beggs Hall, Room B215. Go here to sign up.

  • Documents show Volkswagen resisted Takata air bag recall

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — Volkswagen resisted U.S. government efforts to recall more cars and trucks to fix potentially deadly Takata air bags — telling safety regulators that a recall isn't necessary. But the German automaker, already in hot water with the government for cheating on U.S. pollution tests, eventually agreed to the recall, according to documents posted Friday on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. Volkswagen AG is recalling about 850,000 Audi and VW vehicles in the U.S. from model years 2006 to 2014. But in a letter to the safety agency, the company said the request to recall most of the Volkswagens "may be overbroad.

  • Florida man gets prison for defrauding investors of $3.3M

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn say a Florida man has been sentenced to 3½ years in prison for defrauding over 70 investors of $3.3 million. U.S. Attorney Robert Capers announced Friday that 54-year-old Cecil Speight, of West Palm Beach, had been sentenced late Wednesday. Speight had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and securities fraud. Judge Roslynn Mauskopf also ordered him to pay $3.3 million in restitution and forfeiture. Capers says Speight carried out his fraud through his ownership of International Stock Transfer. He says Speight used investors' funds as his own, paying personal expenses including his purchase of a luxury car.

  • Mediator: More progress in talks to resolve Argentina's debt

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — A court-appointed mediator reported more progress Friday in efforts by Argentina to resolve a dispute with bondholders who claim they are owed about $10 billion by the financially strapped South American nation. A week after two of six leading bondholders settled their claims for well over $1 billion, the rest of them were completing a week of "intensive discussions" with high-ranking Argentine government officials, mediator Daniel Pollack said in a statement. "These discussions have gone late into the night and will continue. I do not know whether agreements in principle will be reached with these four bondholders, but I will continue to do everything in my power to see that it happens," Pollack said.

  • Recalls this week: ceiling lamps, propane gas

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    More than 1 million ceiling lamps sold at Ikea are being recalled this week because the glass shades can fall and shatter. Other recalled consumer products include 118 million gallons of propane gas and infant booties with decorative pompoms that pose a choking hazard. Here's a more detailed look: IKEA CEILING LAMPS DETAILS: Ikea HYBY and LOCK ceiling lamps. Type number and the model name of the lamps are on a label attached to the electrical lamp housing. The HYBY is type number T1011 and the LOCK is type number T0201. The HYBY was sold from October 2012 through January 2016 and the LOCK was sold from November 2002 through January 2016. The HYBY cost $13 and the LOCK cost $5.

  • Pandora shares fall sharply after earnings misses forecasts

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of the Pandora Media plummeted Friday, a day after the Internet radio company reported fourth-quarter earnings that fell short of Wall Street expectations. Users are able to listen to music on Pandora for free and the company makes most of its money by selling advertisements. Users can opt to pay $5 a month to listen to music without ads. Pandora said listener hours in the fourth quarter rose 3 percent to 5.37 billion hours compared to a year ago, but the number of active listeners fell less than a percent to 81.1 million. The company plans to add a subscription service later this year that lets users have more control over which song they want to hear.

  • Gas leak under control, but steps remain until it's sealed

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A utility company got control of a leaking well that spewed natural gas for nearly four months and uprooted thousands of Los Angeles residents. Here's a look at what needs to be done to seal it permanently and what happens after the state certifies the well is dead. WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM? Southern California Gas Co. reported in October that gas was leaking from a storage well at its Aliso Canyon facility. The leak occurred in a well drilled in 1953 to pump oil from beneath the Santa Susana Mountains. After wells in the area ran dry, the field was converted in the 1970s to store natural gas. Wells are used to pump gas underground for storage and then withdraw it when demand spikes.

  • Coast Guard to decide if storm-damaged cruise ship can sail

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    BAYONNE, N.J. (AP) — The Coast Guard on Friday inspected a cruise ship that was battered and damaged by an intense winter storm to determine if it will be able to set sail as scheduled on a weekend voyage. Royal Caribbean was forced to cancel Anthem of the Seas' seven-day cruise to the Bahamas, and the ship returned to Bayonne on Wednesday night after a storm packing hurricane-force winds and waves as high as 30 feet damaged part of its propulsion system and left 4,500 passengers hunkered down in their cabins. The 1,141-foot ship's left azipod was rendered inoperable during the storm, Coast Guard spokesman Charles Rowe said. An azipod is a propeller that is mounted to a steerable pod that contains an electric motor.

  • TVA abandoning plan for new reactors at idled Alabama plant

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    HOLLYWOOD, Ala. (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority said Friday it is giving up on plans to construct new reactors at its unfinished, multibillion-dollar Bellefonte Nuclear Plant in northeast Alabama. While the decision closed the door on the idea of adding next-generation reactors to the plant, a spokesman said the federal utility still was considering what to do with the two incomplete reactors at the long-mothballed plant. The TVA already has spent more than $4.3 billion at Bellefonte, which is located along the Tennessee River about 50 miles east of Huntsville. Work began there more than four decades ago. Construction began at Bellefonte in 1974 during the heyday of nuclear power in the United States, but it was

  • Senate passes bill blocking study of clean-power rules

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Senate has passed a bill that would block a state regulatory commission from spending money to study how to comply with new federal clean-power rules until a legal challenge is resolved. The chamber's 37-2 vote on Thursday night sends the measure to the House. The vote came just two days after a divided U.S. Supreme Court put President Barack Obama's signature plan to address climate change on hold amid the legal challenges. The federal rules require states to develop plans for reducing carbon emissions from power plants, and each state is assigned targets over the next 15 years.

  • Top Republicans stay quiet on release of their tax returns

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have failed to release their tax returns despite promises to do. Mitt Romney offered Republican presidential candidates this advice about a hard-won lesson: Release your tax returns before the primaries and avoid tough scrutiny later. But the top three Republicans leading in national polls don't appear to be listening. Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush have already disclosed years' worth of their tax returns. There is no legal requirement to share tax returns with the public, but every major party nominee since 1976 has done so — often well-before winning the nomination.

  • US rig count drops 30 this week to 541; Texas down 14

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by 30 this week to 541. The Houston company said Friday 439 rigs sought oil and 102 explored for natural gas amid depressed energy prices. A year ago, 1,358 rigs were active. Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas declined by 14 rigs, New Mexico and Oklahoma each dropped four and North Dakota was down three. Colorado, Pennsylvania and Wyoming lost two apiece and Kansas was off by one. California and Louisiana gained one rig each. Alaska, Arkansas, Ohio, Utah and West Virginia were all unchanged. The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in

  • New Mexico officials support proposed methane rules

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A group of local and state elected leaders is supporting a federal proposal that would clamp down on oil and gas companies that burn off natural gas on public land. The 40 elected officials sent a letter Friday to the head of the Bureau of Land Management. They say New Mexico is among the states with an economy tied closely to the taxes, royalties and other fees earned from oil and gas development and the proposed rules would allow local governments to recoup what would otherwise be lost revenue. They also say the rules would help reduce methane emissions and pointed to a methane hot spot identified over the Four Corners region.